Roadtrip Week 1: Monterey – Yosemity – Death Valley
Though I promised to write during my time in the USA, I was only capable of writing one post (here). In the mean time I’m (unfortunately) back in rainy, grey, little Belgium and I’ve only now found the time to tell you more about my roadtrip. After having spent two days (three nights) in San Francisco, our roadtrip officially started. The following days of my first week at the Westcoast, I’d visit Monterey, Yosemity National Park and Death Valley. Something I looked forward to!
It takes a little over two hours to drive from San Francisco to Monterey. This small town is known as the start (or arrival) of one of the most gorgeous drives along the Pacific Ocean. When driving South, towards Carmel, take the ’17 mile drive’. This scenic route takes you through Pacific Grove & Pebble Beach and passes by mansions (some of them worth over $24,000,000!) & several golf courses. There are plenty of stops where you can enjoy the magnificent and enormous ocean, the nature and wildlife and the white beaches of Carmel Beach.
When you have arrived at Carmel Beach, you can choose what to do. You can chill out on the beach, visit the town center and shop, head towards Carmel Mission or just keep on driving to the South. Still, I’d recommend visiting the town center. Why? Well first of all, who wouldn’t want to see the town of which Clint Eastwood was the mayor? Second, it’s the cutest town I’ve ever seen! All of the houses look like they are constructud of cake and confectionery, just as in Hansel and Gretel! Adorable! And last but not least, the shops. In Carmel-by-the-Sea, you can find a tiny Tiffany & Co, a cute Coach Store, little candy stores and coffee shops. Definitely go check it out!
Whether you drove on southwards or not, there’s one must-eat you can’t miss in Monterey. Just as San Francisco, Monterey has its own Fisherman’s Wharf, with lots of souvenir shops and restaurants. At the Old Fisherman’s Grotto you can taste and eat the BEST clam chowder in the area. Want to taste something that’s even better? Then take the Crab Ravioli! Large pieces of fresh crab, with a soft tomato sauce and delicious pasta. YUM!
After our visit to Monterey our next destination was Yosemite National Park. There it became clear that I’m definitely more of a city girl than a girl that loves to be in nature. If it’s not for sunbathing or skiing, nature isn’t my thing. I was never a hiker, nor will I ever be one. But still I did like Yosemite. This HUGE National Park has something for everyone. You’ve got El Capitan, for those who like climbing (remember Tom Waes’ Tomtesterom?) . You’ve got some waterfalls, for those that like natural beauty and you’ve got Mariposa Grove, for those who like to be impressed. I guess I belong to the last group. Mariposa Grove exists out of Giant Sequoia’s over a 1000 years old. During the guided tour, your neck gets sore from looking up. They are MASSIVE AND GIGANTIC, even taller than the Statue of Liberty!
To make our trip from Yosemite to Las Vegas a bit shorter, we made an extra stop in Death Valley. This ‘in-the-middle-of-nowhere-place’ didn’t steal its name, because you could literally drop dead from the heat! When leaving the hotel room it felt like you were under a very hot hairdryer the entire time! Thank God for AC!
Next stop: LAS VEGAS! But that’s for another post… VERY SOON!